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Is your real estate business set up for long-term success or do you hop from transaction to transaction, seeking clients who are ready to buy or sell immediately? Buyers and sellers who are ready to act now are great, but they’re just the bottom of a well-thought-out lead funnel.

Most leads you receive could be anywhere from three months to a year or two away from making their transaction. If you plan to still be in real estate when the time comes, those leads could be incredibly valuable.

Understanding Lead Nurturing
One of the biggest decisions people will make in their life is whether or not to purchase a home. Most people will want to do some research and find out what exactly a real estate transaction entails before they become serious. As the first professional they talk to, you’re in a great position to close the sale…if you’re willing to work within their timeframe.

Lead nurturing is the process of creating and maintaining relationships with your leads. If you stay in touch with those who aren’t able to transact just yet and help them get ready, you’ll be the natural choice when they are ready to buy or sell a home.

Use a CRM
One way to make your nurturing efforts have a strong impact is to know exactly what your clients are looking for. For example, knowing something as simple as if your clients are first-time buyers or not will determine the information that they will want to receive from you.

However, because some leads need weeks or months before they’re ready to work with you, it can be easy to lose track of who wanted what, any personal details you learned about that person, and any past conversations you had. Make sure you keep track of these details in a CRM. If you don’t already have a CRM, create a free Homes.com account here.

Have Different Plans for Different Clients
Most top-of-the funnel leads might be in a situation where they are saving for a down payment, building their credit score or waiting for a major life event to occur before moving forward in their transaction. To work with each type of lead, you should make sure that the content you’re sending is relevant to your lead’s circumstances.

How to Stay in Touch
There are lots of ways to stay in touch with leads who aren’t ready to buy or sell just yet. Make sure your strategy uses a mix of automated and personal touch points to build a relationship and stay top of mind.

Drip email campaigns are a great way to send messages catered around a specific problem, theme or question. A monthly newsletter is another great reason to show up in your leads’ inbox. Send your leads a friend request on social media and comment on one of their posts every so often. You can also invite them to any real estate classes, live videos and open houses you host. Remember to invite them to ask you any questions they have about buying or selling and slide in your own questions about their timeline and what they’re looking for as appropriate.

Do you have questions about how to properly nurture your leads? Head over to the Secrets of Top Selling Agents Facebook Group where you can learn and participate in conversations with other real estate agents.

Mark Mathis is vice president of Sales for Homes.com. For more information, please visit marketing.homes.com.

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